According to a letter written in 1892 by Anna Kurtz, the niece of the owner, Hervey N. Crane, the design for this house was taken from the Knoxville architect George F. Barber's widely used pattern book, The Cottage Souvenir, No. 2. Anna reported, “Uncle Hervey says he knows enough to pick out a popular plan.” 31 Barber also designed the Isaac P. Van Cise house ( ME335), and there are a number of design features of the J. O. Ball house ( ME323) that suggest that Barber may have designed that house as well. All of these dwellings are in the Queen Anne style at its liveliest. In the Crane house, the gableroofed entrance porch has been projected forward on consoles with dramatic drop panels. Above the entrance is a design device often employed by Barber, a single central pillar branching out at the top and supporting the entire gable above. Next door to the Crane house, at 407 East Washington Street, is a somewhat later Queen Anne dwelling (c. 1900), now encumbered by classical (Colonial Revival) details.
Melba Rae Widmen, “Nineteenth Century Home Architecture of Mount Pleasant, Iowa,” 159.